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Lead Generation: How well do you really know what your customers want?

“It is absolutely necessary. Don’t base your marketing on assumptions and allow your customers to identify your success.”

– Alex Corzo, Manager of Brand Integration, Orlando Health

How important is value prop testing?

The case studies at Optimization Summit 2013 reaffirmed the importance of value proposition testing for me. For example, through testing, Jon Ciampi, Vice President Marketing, Business Development & Corporate Development, CRC Health, learned his customers craved trust, not luxury. He reinvented his lead funnel based on this insight, changing everything from his company’s landing pages to his team’s call scripts.

So, how can you discover your value proposition?

At Optimization Summit, my colleague Austin McCraw, Senior Editorial Analyst, MECLABS, shared “How You Can Use Email to Discover the Essence of Your Value Proposition (in 5 Simple Steps).”

But email is just one channel for testing value proposition. So, in the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, we asked…

Q: Which methods have been the most effective at testing your value proposition? Select up to three responses.

, Lead Generation: How well do you really know what your customers want?

We also reached out to our audience, and asked for their value proposition testing tips. The lowest response in the chart, offline advertising (in this case, using cold calling), received the most passionate response, as you’ll see below …

Different tactics work for testing (and challenging) different aspects of your value proposition

For example, you can’t test the “secondary aspects” of your value proposition with PPC advertising because of obvious limitations, but it’s an ideal method for finding out what are the strongest motivators (“primary aspects”) of your value proposition.

It seems many people forget landing pages aren’t as objective as they might think. The traffic source affects expectations (and who comes to your page). So, one aspect of your value proposition might appear to work best, but really you only know what those visitors respond to.

For example, you sell supplements and you’re running an ad at a site focused on marathon running. You get visitors interested in extreme endurance. Your landing page should then focus on endurance. In other words, if one aspect of your value proposition is about building endurance, that’s what will appear to be the most important aspect of it. But if the traffic came from a bodybuilding site, you’d better focus on other aspects or at least frame your value proposition differently.

– Peter Sandeen, Online Conversion Specialist

Cold calling

In a business-to-business setting, I make a few hundred cold calls myself.

By the time I finish those calls, I know with a fairly high degree of confidence whether there is a need in the marketplace for what I’m offering.

Since I make those calls myself, I also have firsthand evidence of whether the value proposition resonates with prospective buyers. Only after do I allocate marketing dollars to communicating the message.

I know this method is “expensive,” but I’m a founder, so for me it’s about making the time and for that reason spending on marketing first would be more expensive.

Anyway, guess what I’ve found over and over again trying this approach in a variety of B2B situations? If the value proposition doesn’t include making them money or saving them time, it probably won’t resonate!

– David Chevalier, Co-founder, SalesBlend

And more cold calling

In my opinion, there is no substitute for David’s approach of having the founder or equivalent making enough cold calls.

Using senior execs to personally do testing is still not cheap, but really talking to that many prospects is not only priceless but an incredible kickstart to building pipeline for the sales that follow the test.

– Chris Beall, Chief Product Officer, ConnectAndSell

Related Resources:

Digital Marketing: B2B marketers can get fresh, new ideas from B2C

Digital Marketing: How to craft a value proposition in 5 simple steps

To Call or Email? That is the Question

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